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Anheuser-Busch looks to cut carbon emissions with conversion of St. Louis fleet



From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS – Anheuser-Busch is replacing all 97 diesel-fueled tractors in its St. Louis fleet with new Compressed Natural Gas fueled tractors, a move that is predicted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,500 tons per year.

The St. Louis announcement this past week marks Anheuser-Busch’s second full brewery fleet transition, following last year’s successful replacement of 66 tractors in Houston. Approximately 30 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s heavy-haul dedicated tractors now run on cleaner-burning natural gas.

“Transitioning our entire St. Louis tractor fleet to CNG-powered engines brings environmental benefits directly to our company and our community,” said James Sembrot, senior director of transportation at Anheuser-Busch. “A conversion of this scale is indicative of the commitment we’ve made to deploying more sustainable technologies and processes at each stage of the brewing process – from Seed to Sip.”

The CNG conversion comes as the 2015 football season kicks off, one of the St. Louis brewery’s busiest shipping periods of the year. The CNG tractors will ship approximately 31 million cases of beer this fall, supporting sales throughout the entire Midwest. Through advanced engine technologies, the company anticipates a 23 percent reduction in greenhouse gases versus conventional diesel equipment, the equivalent of taking approximately 526 passenger vehicles off the road.

Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis brewery is one of the company’s largest facilities, served by a fleet that travels 11 million miles annually throughout the Midwest. The abundance of natural gas filling stations, combined with the fleet’s high mileage, made the company’s hometown of St. Louis a strategic choice for conversion.

“I want to thank Anheuser-Busch for setting an example for businesses across the city by committing to environmentally-friendly business practices,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “With Anheuser-Busch identifying and implementing sustainable alternatives, the company is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make St. Louis a better place for all of us to live, work and play.”

Part of the company’s ‘Seed to Sip’ environmental commitment, the St. Louis CNG fleet conversion furthers a global initiative to reduce logistics-related carbon emissions by 15 percent through 2017. Parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev has made similar fleet conversions in China, Europe and Brazil as part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions globally across facilities.

The new, Freightliner-produced, natural gas-fueled tractors will be filled at a recently opened CNG station operated by U.S. Gain, near the St. Louis brewery. Amerit will provide maintenance support at a nearby facility, recently retrofitted to accommodate the new CNG fleet. J.B. Hunt, a leading transportation provider, will continue to manage Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis dedicated fleet of tractors and drivers. Agility will provide the new CNG fleet with logistical support and Element will oversee tractor leasing.

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